FNSS Kunduz amphibious combat earthmover was on display at the IDEF 2019 exhibition held in Istanbul, Turkey. Credit: CeeGee.
The Kunduz amphibious earthmover is propelled in water by two pump jets. Credit: FNSS Savunma Sistemleri A.Ş.
The combat earthmover has a maximum amphibious speed of 8.6km/h. Credit: FNSS Savunma Sistemleri A.Ş.

Kunduz is an armoured combat earthmover offered by FNSS Savunma Sistemleri (FNSS), a Turkey-based manufacturer of armoured vehicles and weapon systems.

The vehicle is designed to excavate and move earth, clear obstacles, cut steep slopes, and fortify the banks of water streams.

FNSS Kunduz orders and deliveries

FNSS was awarded a contract to supply an undisclosed number of Kunduz armoured combat earthmovers to the Philippine Army in February 2020. Deliveries are expected to commence in 2021.

The Republic of Turkey’s Ministry of National Defence placed a contract with FNSS to develop the Kunduz amphibious earthmover in March 2009. The first vehicle was handed over to the Turkish Army in January 2013.

Kunduz design and features

The armoured combat earthmover features a dozer blade at forward hull, a ballast chamber in the centre and a power pack at the rear. The left side of the rear hull houses seating for two crew members, an operator and an attendant. The crew can enter or exit the vehicle through roof-mounted hatch covers.

The armoured hull of the Kunduz is made of aluminium to ensure amphibious capability while meeting ballistic protection requirements. The manoeuvrability and performance of the platform are enhanced by its hydraulic and power systems, which have advanced equipment and tools.

The vehicle has the ability to store its ballast canister within the soil during its operation and discharge it at the end. The hydraulic suspension system allows the operator to lift the forward section of the vehicle down or up to enable its blade or ballast canister to contact the ground. It is also capable of changing its configuration when mobile.

The combat earthmover has a length of 6.2m, a width of 3.3m and a height of 3.2m. The combat weight of the vehicle is 19.5t.

Kunduz is equipped with a daylight camera, night vision system, a multi-purpose LED display and an air conditioning system. The vehicle also integrates a rescue winch with a capacity to pull 15,000kg.

Self-protection of FNSS Kunduz

The armoured vehicle can withstand small arms fire, armour-piercing rounds and shell splinters. It also offers resistance against impact from mine explosions.

Kunduz is fitted with six smoke grenade launchers to improve the survivability of the vehicle. The crew is also protected by a chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) defence system.

The engine compartment has an integrated fire suppression system while the vehicle is also equipped with portable fire extinguishers.

FNSS Kunduz engine and mobility

The vehicle is powered by a Cat diesel engine coupled with an Allison fully automatic transmission system. The armoured combat earthmover can travel at a maximum speed of 45km/h on land and can reach an area of operations at the same time as other military vehicles, without the need for transportation. The maximum road range of the vehicle is 400km.

Kunduz is equipped with a hydraulic suspension system. Either side of the hull has an integrated track that houses four road wheels and a sprocket wheel at the rear.

The vehicle is propelled in the water by two pump jets that enable 360° manoeuvrability in rip currents. It can swim in river streams at a maximum speed of 8.6km/h.

The earthmover can climb a gradient of 60% and can negotiate a side slope of 30%. It has the ability to cross vertical steps of up to 40cm in height and trenches of up to 1.5m in depth.